Solo travel is one of the most thrilling experiences one can have. It’s an exciting time where you have the ability to be selfish and do whatever you want, wherever you want. You can go as far as you want to go or stay close to home. As a solo traveler… the world is your oyster.
After having traveled to 20+ countries alone, I’ve created the ultimate solo travel bucket list. Here are the best things to see and do as a solo female traveler.
The Ultimate Solo Travel Bucket List – 10 Things to Do As a Solo Female Traveler
1. Go On a Solo Road Trip
Pack your bags and set off for an adventure on the road! When you go on a solo road trip, you have so much freedom and flexibility! Hit the open road with no plans and no expectations. Drive when you want, and stop when you want, all without worrying about someone else in the car. If you’re up for even more of an adventure, I challenge you to road trip in a country other than your home country. Figuring out road signs, driving on the opposite side of the road, and figuring out where to go with a shoddy internet connection will excite you and prove to you that you’re pretty much capable of anything at this point.
For tips on road tripping alone, check out: 6 Solo Road Trip Tips – How to Have An Epic Road Trip When You’re Alone
2. Visit a Country You’ve Never Thought of Visiting
Spin your globe and go wherever your finger lands! Perhaps it’s a country you’ve never heard of, perhaps you’ve been before. Whatever happens, go with an open mind, open heart, and you may just discover (or rediscover) one of your favorite places in the world.
If you don’t have a globe, head to Skyscanner. From Skyscanner, you can pick “everywhere” as your destination and the cheapest destinations pop up first. I encourage you to pick somewhere cheap that maybe you haven’t heard of before!
3. Attend a Popular Event
Attend an event that everyone in the world knows about. Something like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, or Oktoberfest in Munich! Although you’ll be alone and it might be intimidating, you’re surrounded by tons of people meaning that there are so many opportunities to make friends! And if you end up hating the event you can always leave. You won’t even have to explain it to anybody because you’ll be alone and you don’t have to answer to anyone.
When I visited Munich, I accepted an invitation to Springfest (Oktoberfest, but in the spring) with two people I had never met before. They told me that they had a table in a tent and that they had an extra spot available. I went, scared out of my mind, and it ended up being one of my favorite days of my life.
4. Travel Through Europe by Train
Talk about a bucket list travel experience! Unlike the United States, Europe has an incredible, affordable, and expansive train system that can take you through many different countries. Hop on in Amsterdam and you might end up in Budapest! I urge you to go without a plan and instead buy cheap ticket after cheap ticket seeing where your final destination is (I prefer to use Omio). This is one of those cases where the journey is just as great, if not better, than the destination itself.
For some of my favorite countries in Europe to travel solo to, don’t miss The Best Countries in Europe for Solo Female Travelers
5. Backpack Through Southeast Asia
Backpacking through Southeast Asia as a solo traveler is almost a “right of passage” and something that most serious solo travelers do. Southeast Asia is an incredible area, it’s a cheap destination, and it’s easy to stay for a prolonged period of time. Start somewhere where you might feel more comfortable, like Thailand or Vietnam. And when you’ve adapted to the culture and way of life in Southeast Asia, venture off the beaten path to somewhere where fewer people visit. Like Myanmar!
6. Stay in a Hostel
Nobody is too good to stay in a hostel. And I mean nobody. Staying in a hostel as a solo traveler is an excellent way to meet other travelers. There are usually events put on by the hostels to meet others, and if you’re not into that then make it a priority to find people to sit with during mealtimes. The great thing about hostels is that if you want to get your own room, you can. Or you can room with other people. Plus, these days there are really nice hostels around the world so you aren’t necessarily staying in a dump full of party animals. Just make sure to read the reviews before booking!
7. Stay in a Luxury Hotel
If you’re traveling solo, I think one of the best things that you can do now and again is to treat yourself. Save up your credit card points and book a one night stay in a hotel that you wouldn’t normally stay at. Use the spa, get room service, soak in all of the luxuries of a luxurious hotel. If you don’t like to spend your money this way, treat yourself in a different way. Perhaps a nice dinner out, or a ticket to a show. Maybe you’re used to taking the train from the airport to the city but this time you hire a private driver.
When I go on solo trips, I always like to end the trip with something luxurious. This way I’m not dreading the end of my trip, but instead looking forward to it!
8. Say “YES”
Repeatedly say “yes” to opportunities that come your way. Stay out and have another drink with those friends you just met. Travel to X city instead of Y city because the people you’re with decided that is what they are doing. Incredible things can happen if you just have the guts and the heart to say “yes” to what comes your way. And as a solo traveler, there will be many opportunities that come your way.
Please keep in mind, that saying “yes” isn’t always the right thing to do. There are instances where you may have a gut feeling about something – follow that gut feeling.
9. Be Open to Meeting New Friends
Oftentimes I get asked, “Don’t you get lonely when you travel solo?” And the answer is “NO”. Traveling alone has allowed me to meet incredible people and form awesome friendships that I wouldn’t have ever formed if I were traveling with someone else. The truth is, that you won’t be the only person out there on a solo trip. There will be others. And everyone wants to meet people and make friends. So smile at strangers, when you go out to eat… sit at the bar, and immerse yourself in as many activities with other people that you can.
My favorite way to meet friends when traveling solo is by going on the free walking tours of each city. This is a huge trend in Europe and I encourage you to participate.
If you want to know more about walking tours, read: Free Walking Tours in Europe Ranked
10. Visit a “Romantic” Destination and Fall in Love… With Yourself
Have you ever heard the saying, “You are the five people you hang around most”? Well, guess what; you are one of those five people that you hang out with the most. Seriously, you’re with yourself more than any other person… so you best like yourself and enjoy your own company. The best way to get to know yourself is by spending time alone. And why not spend time in a romantic destination falling in love with yourself and your life? Travel to Paris and eat pastries under the Eiffel Tower, or visit the romantic Finnish Lapland and stay in a glass igloo alone. There are so many fun things to do that people think are “couple focused”. Prove them wrong and go by yourself. Enjoy your own company, laugh at yourself, and give yourself some much-deserved TLC.
So there you have it, my ultimate solo travel bucket list travel for those looking for adventures. For those who are sick of waiting around for others to travel with them. And for those who dream of taking ownership of their own lives who want to create beautiful memories in the world. Wherever you end up, go with an open mind, an open heart, and see where the journey takes you.